When one considers the awesome Drakensberg location being a likely conference destination, it is the main path through the Central Berg to the Northern Drakensberg that springs to mind. Understandably as there isn’t a question of it, this place from the little Berg outside Pietermaritzburg all of the way to the Free State is adequately ‘stocked’ with 3 and 4-star resorts and each one has wonderful conference rooms and adequate accommodation. There is, the occasionally forgotten Southern Berg, within the Underberg part of Pietermaritzburg, which even though this is a little off the beaten track, is a hop and skip from Pietermaritzburg and well worth consideration for your next conference if it’s country, solitude, golf, team building, beauty and some adrenalin you are after.
The Drakensberg in KZN is divided into three main regions which are the Northern, Central and Southern Drakensberg. The Northern Drakensberg is a continuation of the Central Drakensberg and the picturesque Champagne Valley from Winterton and Bergville (where the highest peak in this part of the Berg is at Mont-aux-Sources at a height of some 3,300 feet) to the border of the Free State. In the Northern most part of the Drakensberg, you will find the Royal Natal National Park with many popular and professionally run hotels with conference centres close by, several excellent golf courses, a variety of team building companies, including the unique ‘Adventure Centre’ at the lovely Montusi Mountain Lodge. Take a swing on the flying trapeze at the nearby Adventure Centre (as well as giant trampolining, abseiling and other interesting options).
Golf in the Southern Berg. The delightful setting of the renowned 18-hole course at Drakensberg Gardens Hotel is a mere hour and a half’s drive from Pietermaritzburg, a little way beyond Underberg, also offering large conference facilities and ample accommodation. A well manicured and fully equipped camp site for the holiday makers who prefer to rough it a little, set amongst shady trees forms part of the Gooderson Group and is managed by the hotel. En-route you will find many smaller hotel venues and camp sites with breath-taking views, lakes, trout fishing, wild life and unspoilt terrain. The beauty of this unspoilt area has not been interrupted much by commerce, still retaining its original uniqueness. Those who wish to take the tour through the Gateway to the ‘Roof of Africa’, for the climb up the mountain into Lesotho by road to ‘The Highest Pub in Africa’ will enjoy the ride, an excellent meal at ‘The Highest Pub’, drink and soak in the unrivalled beauty from this incredible height, and return to the warmth and hospitality of the Sani Pass Hotel in the evening or spend a night at the top. Passports are required for this relatively short journey. 4×4 vehicles are essential on this route.
The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road that is a well-known entry point into Lesotho from South Africa. The Sani Pass is the only border post between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho. A 4X4 vehicle is necessary for this road especially if the weather is bad. Never underestimate the likelihood of change in the weather in Lesotho. A common truth is that you can have four seasons in one day, so be prepared.
Trek or traipse this beautiful area of the Berg and stop at all the delightful little spots along the way.
Underberg accommodation –
Underberg accommodation is an ideal central point to explore Southern Drakensberg. Southern Drakensberg presents more fly-fishing opportunities than anywhere else in South Africa. The Underberg district further boasts three golf courses and plenty of opportunities for river rafting, canoeing and tubing. Horse trails and polo fields add a further dimension to the list of fun activities in the area.
Underberg accommodation directory
• Drakensberg Gardens Hotel and Golfing Estate
• Himeville Arms Hotel – Hotel accommodation near Sani Pass – Southern Drakensberg
• Sani Lodge – Drakensberg Backpackers
• Sani Pass Hotel – South Africa’s premier Drakensberg Resort
• Sani Top Chalet – Accommodation at the top of Sani Pass
• Moorcroft Manor – Accommodation near Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg
• Pennygum Country Cottages – Accommodation near Underberg – Southern Drakensberg
• Plum Tree Lodge – A country guesthouse offering B&B accommodation near Underberg in KwaZulu Natal
• Robins Nest Guest House – Bed and Breakfast – Guest House accommodation in Underberg
• Sani Lodge – Underberg Drakensberg Backpacker accommodation
• Sani Pass Hotel – South Africa’s premier Drakensberg Resort near Underberg
• Taylors B&B – Bed and Breakfast farm accommodation near Underberg Southern Drakensberg
• Tumble In – Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Underberg, close to Sani Pass, South Africa
• Valemount Country Lodge – B&B and Upmarket Self Catering Accommodation near Underberg in the Southern Drakensberg.